About 86.8 million people have opted for mobile number portability (MNP) since its launch about two-and-a-half years back, in January 2011. The number is more than 10% of the total mobile telephony customer base of 861 million in India.
Under MNP, a subscriber can change his operator, while retaining his telephone number.
Global average for opting MNP is 6%. According to the telecom experts, one of the main reasons for high MNP requests in India due to closing down of the operations by new service providers in the recent months.
For example, Uninor, a new operator had to shut its operations in Mumbai following the Supreme Court order, as per which all operators that did not win spectrum in the previous auctions had to close down services. This effected more than 1.8 million subscribers of Uninor.
Similarly, Sistema Shyam Tele-services Ltd stopped operations in 11 circles including Mumbai. It had about 1.5 million subscribers in Mumbai alone.
“Other reasons for high MNP request is that the subscribers easily shift to an operator who is offering low tariff,” said BK Syngal, former CMD, VSNL. “There is also shift from CDMA to GSM services.”